August is National Water Quality Month. Water quality matters to all humans, as water is necessary for all parts of life. For Marine veterans stationed in Camp Lejeune though, this month holds special significance. Veterans, their families, and employees of the military base forced to deal with the long-term consequences of toxic water exposure are finally speaking up.
From August 1, 1953, until December 31, 1987, individuals on base endured repeated exposure to dangerous substances including TCE, PCE, benzene, vinyl chloride, and other VOCs via jet fuel, degreasers, dry-cleaning solutions, and cleaning solvents that were dumped into the water supply. This exposure caused dire health situations, and even fatalities, among military personnel, spouses, children, contracted employees, and anyone else who spent a significant amount of time on site.
What have these victims faced in the years since their time at Camp Lejeune?
Hundreds of Health Complications Connect to The Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune
The substances dumped into the water at Camp Lejeune caused a litany of health problems for exposed victims. Not only did direct contact with the chemicals in the water impact adult victims and children, but unborn children also suffered exposure to these toxic compounds in utero. This exposure has led to entire generations of victims facing:
- cancer (adult Leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, and lymphoma to name a few)
- birth defects
- neurological disorders
- skin issues (like scleroderma)
- renal toxicity and kidney failure
- and many more
Sadly, many of these victims have battled their sickness alone, with no assistance from the very installation that knowingly exposed them to these substances.
Thankfully, all of that changed in recent years with the passing of the PACT Act and the reformation of the regulations that have kept so many families from seeking justice.
What does the PACT Act Do for Camp Lejeune families?
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,
Section 804 of the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act addresses people who lived at Camp Lejeune. This law is also called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.
This law allows lawsuits for appropriate relief for harm caused by exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Veterans, family members, and survivors (or their legal representatives) can file a lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
You can file a lawsuit under this authority if either of these descriptions is true:
- You lived, worked, or were otherwise exposed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days total between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, or
- Your mother lived, worked, or was otherwise exposed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days total between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, while pregnant with you
What does this mean for victims and their families? It means they now have the legal right to file for compensation for their suffering and ongoing medical costs. Filing a claim means they’re taking the first step toward getting justice.
My loved one died from Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure. What can I do?
According to the VA, families can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one(s) who passed away due to complications of toxic water exposure during the
aforementioned time period at Camp Lejeune. As long as you, or your loved one, served for at least 30 days during the listed dates you may bring an action in the US District Court to claim relief from harm.
The unborn victims and victims exposed in-utero count under the PACT Act as well. Take Jerry Ensminger for example. His daughter Janey endured three excruciating years battling Leukemia before succumbing to the disease. She endured exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune both in-utero and during her early childhood. Jerry is just one of many victims sharing their stories and fighting for the justice deserved.
How do I begin the process of filing a claim if I was exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune?
Brooks Law Group has taken up the fight on behalf of Camp Lejeune veterans and their families in the Tampa Bay area. We understand the changes to laws that let families like yours get the compensation they need and deserve, and we have the skills and experience to negotiate on your behalf. From your first free consultation, until the day your case is closed, we aim to make you feel empowered and supported. You don’t pay unless we win for you, so our services are risk-free. YOU are our top priority.
Were you or a loved one impacted by toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune? National Water Quality Month is the perfect time to step up and fight for justice. The lawyers at Brooks Law Group are here to take the step with you. Remember, for legal help you can count on, you can always Look to Brooks.